At the October 16 Milpitas City Council meeting, Chair Christie Maly and Vice Chair Ravit Sharma (both high schoolers) from the Youth Advisory Commission presented their Work Plan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
They plan on continuing to offer Community Service Scholarships, which high school seniors are welcome to apply for. Also big on their agenda is continuing to volunteer their time at City events, like Pumpkins in the Park and the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Last year, the Youth Advisory Commission planned its first Mental Health Workshop, and they hope to duplicate that accomplishment in the months ahead.
“We see that mental health is an underrecognized issue in the community,” said Sharma, who believes in promoting mental health awareness so community youth don’t fall victim to depression and suicide.
In the coming year, these young commissioners have big plans to revitalize Teen Programs at the new Teen Center, which will be opening at the Senior Center toward the end of 2018, and serve as a place for teens to go during after-school hours. The pair spoke of some of the Commission’s plans and ideas toward making the center a hub for youth and teens in Milpitas:
“Through the New Teen Center, we want to do a Hack-a-thon,” said Maly. “We think a Hack-a-thon would be a great way to reach the youth and teens in the community who are looking into going into such fields that involve crucial coding skills.”
They’re also intent upon establishing intergenerational programming between seniors and teens:
“I believe the Senior Center closes around 4:30; but the Teen Center will be opening around 3. Which means there will be this nice hour for teens and seniors to share the same space,” said Maly. “Which means this is a great opportunity to kind of develop the networking between different age groups and to see what we can learn from each other. We want to create activities that seniors and teens would like to do together.”
And that’s just the beginning. As plans progress for the new Teen Center, a variety of other new ideas and opportunities will continue to form.
“What we’re really working toward is to engage the community, not only amongst themselves, but also with others,” said Sharma. “And with the rise of the new Teen Center, we’re looking to make that a place where the youth can sort of arrive at a common destination and interact with each other, and make it a more sociable place.”
After the presentation, the Council voted unanimously to approve the Youth Advisory Commission Work Plan, but not before letting the duo know how thrilled they were by their presentation…
“I just want to tell you how inspired I felt your presentation was. Listening to you gives me a lot of hope for the future,” said Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli.
Councilmember Nunez also weighed in: “I think that having youth plan a program that they’d like to see is very important. Too many times adults do it. We plan what we think you need and we don’t always get it right.”